Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Okanogan Complex Fire Update

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team - Todd Pechota, Incident Commander 
Information Center:  509-850-0083
Hours of operation: 7 am – 9 pm
Email: okanogancomplexfire@gmail.com  

August 25, 2015
10:30 pm
Current Situation: By early afternoon, the inversion that had been “putting a lid” on the fire lifted resulting in an increase in fire activity. On the plus side, clearing of the air over the fire allowed aircraft to fly and drop water and retardant where needed. The increase in fire activity resulted in an increase of 3,311 acres.  Continued progress is reflected in the 2% increase in containment.

Attention is focused on the southern tip of the Tunk Block Fire where the fire spotted over a dozer line and is backing downhill through heavy timber. Crews are working to reinforce contingency line south of the fire perimeter. This afternoon, activity also increased on the north end of the Lime Belt Fire where the fire is burning in steep largely inaccessible ground in the Sinlakein drainage. 

Progress continues to be made in securing the Twisp River Fire.  As a result of progress made, a hotshot crew and several dozers were moved to other areas of the complex where they are needed. 

Firefighters continue to watch the weather closely, as the presence/absence of the inversion can have a significant influence on fire activity. Fire managers are asking crews to remain vigilant, both because of the potential for afternoon flare-ups and continuing hazards from falling snags and heavy traffic in the fire area.
Motorists on Hwy 20 and 97 are asked to slow down in the vicinity of the fire area for their own safety and the safety of fire crews exiting and entering the highway. 

Evacuations and Closures: The public is encouraged to contact the Okanogan Emergency Operations Center to learn how to register for automated phone messages in the event of evacuation notices being issued for particular neighborhoods. Contact emergency staff at 509-422-7348 or the Colville Tribal Emergency Management Center at 507-634-2105.

Media Briefings:  Media briefings will be held at 11 am daily at Okanogan County Fairgrounds.

Fire Statistics as of Sunday:  
Location:  Eleven miles northwest of Omak, WA                   Start Date: August 14, 2015
Complex Size:  261,650 acres                                               Complex Percent Contained: 17
Twisp River: 10,503 acres                                         Total Personnel: 1,345                                  
            Tunk Block: 135,349 acres                                                                                         
            Lime Belt/Blue Lake and Beaver Lake: 111,078
            Nine Mile: 4,720 acres

Places to get additional information:
Twitter: #OkanoganComplex
The Rocky Mountain IMT has a Facebook page dedicated to “Thank You’s to the firefighters working on the fire line. Visit the page at https://www.facebook.com/RockyMtn.Type1.IMT.PIOs
Spanish Language Information: (509) 422-2422


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